Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer
  • .: Welcome to my blog :.

    I'm John R. "Buck" Surdu. I have two Web pages that contain relatively static information about my professional life (including papers I've written) and my hobby life (including information about rules I've written and my wargaming projects). This blog is where I plan to post personal tidbits, like vacation pictures, wargaming projects, etc. Enjoy!
  • Stuff I Did This Weekend

    Posted By on October 20, 2019

    This was an unusually hobby-filled weekend. Friday night was HAWKs club night. I hosted another play test of the Wars of Ozz rules for Old Glory on Saturday. On Sunday, I painted some figures that have been staring at me on the painting table for a while.

    This is a shot of the game Friday night. Wars of Ozz will be a “big battle” game, with regiments of 20 figures plus a mounted leader. For these play tests we have been using ersatz figures, because the figures are not in production yet.

    I have been working on a set of rules, called Wars of Ozz, for Old Glory to go along with a new line of figures. Both rules and figures should be in full production and for sale by March 2020. Friday night was the first test outside the small group that has been involved while the project was secret. Now that Russ has posted some news about the project on TMP, I can talk about it a little.

    Another view of the table.

    Saturday we held another play test of the rules with a smaller group. I am working on just a few things to get the Reaction Test chart correct. Then I have to work a little on the named generals and wizards. I am hoping to have it done by Christmas.

    After we finished the Wars of Ozz game, we broke out gladiators for an hour or hacking and slashing.
    The crowd cheers!
    Greg’s gladiatrix bites the dust.
    The second game pitted Greg and Chris against a rhino, hippo, and lion. The animals won.

    On Sunday I had a chance to paint these Imperial Assault figures that have been sitting on my painting table, mocking me, for months.

    The crew from the Phantom in Star Wars Rebels along with Asoka Tank.

    More Johnny Quest

    Posted By on October 1, 2019

    Greg Priebe printed this spider from the episode Robot Spy.

    Greg found the STL files for the Johnny Quest spider on Thingaverse (I think), and he printed one for me.  I think we’ll try to double the size of the next print, but I think it looks really cool.

    Combat Patrol(TM) at Southern Front

    Posted By on September 25, 2019

    Les ran a Combat Patrol(TM) game last weekend at the Southern Front convention.  The tables looks great.  Les said it was the first time he’d run the game at a convention, and that it went very well.  Many of the folks in the pictures have played in my Combat Patrol(TM) games in the past, so apparently they weren’t too traumatized.  🙂

    Les gave me permission to post these pictures.

    Johnny Quest

    Posted By on September 23, 2019

    I finished these this evening.

    Barrage is Just Five Days Away

    Posted By on September 23, 2019

    A productive weekend!

    Posted By on September 22, 2019

    My forces try to hold off Chris while Greg takes his sweet time turning Chris’ flank.

    My daughter and CINC Domicile (my wife) our away this weekend on a girl road trip, so I have had the house to myself.  I started with the HAWKs club night on Friday where Chris and I ran a Feudal Patrol(TM) game while Eric ran a play test of his Fall In Napoleonic game. The Feudal Patrol game went pretty well, but I’ll be making another couple of changes to the Action Deck cards and the unit record sheets as a result.

    Then Saturday morning a couple of us continues with another play test of the rules I am developing for a miniatures company but cannot discuss.  We are using ersatz figures for these play tests to disguise the project for the time being.

    Using ersatz figures has given me a chance to put some troops on the table that haven’t seen battle in a few years, including my Rooman warriors.  (There is some rumor that there may be more Roomans in production soon.)

    The play test went well.  I think the basic mechanics are flowing well.  Now I have to bolt on some chrome to give it more period flavor.

    Winston Churchill and his body guard.

    I also had a chance on Sunday to do a little painting.  I purchased this iconic figure of Winston Churchill with tommy gun some months ago, and I finally got around to painting it after looking on the Internet to learn that the suit was pinstriped.

    At the same time I ordered Churchill, I also ordered Hitler and his bodyguard.  Look for a Combat Patrol(TM) game that is The Eagle Has Landed and The Eagle Has Landed in the Other Direction soon.

    Bad Squiddo slingers.

    I also painted some peasant ladies with slings and stones that I will work into my Viking games — when I start to run Viking games.  Greg has volunteered to write the Viking supplement for Feudal Patrol(TM), so watch for those announcements.  (By they way, my intent is turn Feudal Patrol(TM) over to the publisher in December, with an eye toward Cold Wars and Salute release.)

    Bad Squiddo peasant ladies with improvised weapons and a vignette they call “My Heroine.”

    Ever since I saw these figures in an announcement on TMP, I knew they were calling to me.  While my paint job is not as good as the ones on the package I think they turned out respectably.  Watch for these in a Feudal Patrol game soon.  I have been running Sea Lion games with the Bad Squiddo British ladies with similarly improvised weapons and the Land Girls.  My plan is to represent the same town as a dark ages costal village and run similar scenarios with Viking Raids instead of German Fifth Columnists.    Hopefully I’ll be ready by Cold Wars, but I am short Vikings and longboats.

    What’s on the painting table now?  Some Border Reivers that Zeb picked up for me at Salute this year and a US WWII .50 cal. machine-gun crew.  Then I think some Hydra Valkyrie riding some odd creatures.  I have painted everything I purchased at Historicon plus a bunch, so I am still trending in the right direction with my lead pile.

    Sally Forth Jousting Barriers

    Posted By on September 17, 2019

    I was gone most of the weekend, but my daughter helped finish these jousting barriers while I was gone.

    I got a copy of the jousting rules used by Brian De Witt to run his jousting game in the HAWKs Battle in a Box contest.  I finished printing and cutting up the cards and lining out the board (not used in these pictures).  I plan to bring this game to Barrage in case we have an overflow of people.

    Buck

    Italian Renaissance Figures

    Posted By on September 9, 2019

    This was a rare weekend at home in which I was able to play games AND paint figures.  Given the amount of travel I have had to do for work, it was fun to focus a fair amount of the weekend to my hobby.  I have had a pack of figures from Eureka that are Italian Renaissance duelists and assorted bystanders.  I like the figures, but frankly, the sheer riot of color for the Italian Renaissance had me continue to push this project deeper and deeper into the queue.  I didn’t want to start this project and then have it languish on the painting table for weeks or months.

    The figures had enough relief on them that they were easy to paint.

    These were fun to paint, because I was completely unconstrained on which colors I could use.

    I will use these with Blood and Swash.  It will essentially be the same as my pirate tavern games, but with different figures.

    ACP 164 Vehicles

    Posted By on September 4, 2019

    I was involved with the Albedo Miniatures Kickstarter.  I adapted Combat Patrol for the Albedo universe.  I also bought into the Kickstarter to get some of the figures and vehicles.  The figures are really nice and will work by themselves or mixed in with other science fiction figures and games.  I am working short days this week, so yesterday afternoon I painted two vehicles and an aircraft that I had prepped and partially assembled two days ago.

    An Albedo fire support vehicle and APC

    The fires support vehicle comes with a more traditional gun, but somehow during prep, I accidentally threw out the barrel, and it was trash day, so by the time I realized it, my barrel was on the way to the landfill.  So, I replaced it with a “Tesla gun” from Company B miniatures.  I am going to have to order another couple of packs of those barrels.  They have come in hand recently.

    The LARC

    I really like this aircraft.  In fact, I have ordered two more of the kit with more optional variants.  I had a little trouble figuring out how to attach all the various weapons, and had to refer to pictures online, but I love this kit!  I plan to use this both for Albedo and for other science fiction games.

    At Historicon I purchased a giant gorilla from Eureka Miniatures.   Two weeks ago, when I opened up the packaging, I discovered that the gorilla’s left arm was missing.  Rob put one in the mail right away, and it arrived before I returned from my long business trip.  So, I painted it while I was painting my Hawaiians.

    Eureka giant gorilla and giant crab from Reaper Bones MCMDLXMI (or whatever they are up to)

    Eureka Polynesians

    Posted By on September 3, 2019

    Polynesian civilians from Eureka Miniatures

    Several years ago, Eureka Miniatures had a line of Polynesian (Hawaiian) figures.  I have been kicking myself for years for not ordering them, because they went out of production.  Recently a new line came into production, and I ordered two sets of them.  (I also ordered four canoes [which are still out of production], but that is for another post.)  Having returned from ten days on the road and a lot of long days for work recently, I decide that I would knock these out.

    Hawaiians vs. Captain Cooke’s men

    We returned from a recent vacation in Hawaii, and I was in the mood.  I REALLY like these figures.  My plan is to run a small skirmish game involving angry Hawaiian’s and Captain Cooke’s men during his second landing on Hawaii, when he was killed.  As can be send in the picture (above), my plan is to use my Old Glory French and Indian War British for Captain Cooke’s troops.

    Hawaiian spearmen face British soldiers

    They are very nice figures, with nearly no filing needed.  I like the way they turned out.  Being predominantly skin, after base spraying them brown and hitting them with Agrax Earthshade, they were nearly complete.  I just had to paint in the details.

    Polynesians fighting each other

    I know the popular myth is that the natives were happy and peaceful until Europeans arrived — whether we are talking about North America, Hawaii, or South America.  The truth is that these were violent cultures at war with each other for dominance.  (I highly recommend Mayflower, if you haven’t read it, and the truth about King Philip’s War.)  On the plane to Hawaii, my wife read some stories to me about ancient Hawaii, and the violence and barbarity is amazing.  The infighting didn’t really stop until, armed with European-provided muskets and gunpowder, King Kamehameha, conquered the islands under threat of extermination for those who didn’t pledge allegiance to him.  So, I think it is also fair to have a skirmish game in which Polynesians are fighting each other.

    I don’t know when they will get on the table, but they are painted, boxed, and ready for action.